The Art of the Album Cover at The Gallery@

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An exhibition of classic album covers opens next month at The Gallery@ in Barnsley, UK and includes work by designers including Peter Saville, Airside (below), Neville Brody, Farrow Design and Alex Steinweiss (above).


Revolutions: from Gatefold to Download, the Art of the Album Cover, curated by Patrick Murphy, charts the history of album covers from the 1930s to the present day, bringing together over 100 designs. Top image: Columbia presents Gerswhin's Rhapsody in Blue, Alex Steinweiss, 1941. Above: Lemon Jelly, Lost Horizons. Design: Fred Deakin/Airside


Above: Pulseprogramming, Tulsa for One Second. Design Hans Seeger with John Schachter

Below is the press release from TheGallery@:


TheGallery@ is delighted to present its inaugural exhibition: Revolutions: from Gatefold to Download, the Art of the Album Cover. The Gallery@ The Civic is a fantastic purpose built gallery space housed in the newly redeveloped Civic complex in the heart of Barnsley town centre which also includes The Assembly Rooms performance and venue space and the re-landscaped Mandela Gardens. The Civic is set to combine a rolling programme of contemporary national and international art, design and craft alongside some of Barnsley's most promising up and coming talents within a bespoke hub of creativity.


Above: Spiritualized, Let it come down. Farrow Design

Revolutions charts the history of album cover artwork from its early days in the 1930s through to the present day. It explores how cover design has influenced, and been influenced by, popular culture and responded to technological developments and change. On show will be cover artworks that became era-defining images of popular culture and have forged the reputations of some of the leading lights of the art and design world. The exhibition raises questions about the future of design within a music industry coming to terms with a digital age. This is an exciting retrospective of a unique area of art and design that will appeal to design aficionados and music fans alike.revolutions-from-gatefold-to-download-spiritualized-farrow-ladie.jpg

Above: Spiritualized, Ladies and gentleman we are floating in space. Farrow/Spaceman

The exhibition, curated by Patrick Murphy, brings together over 100 LP sleeves from across the 20th and 21st centuries, arranged decade by decade with key designers from each explored in detail. The exhibition also highlights the effects that MTV, the internet, mp3 players and music downloads have had on this art form.


Above: Stephan Mathieu and Ekkard Ehlers. Design Alorenz with Stephan Mathieu

Designers featured in the Revolutions exhibition include: Peter Saville Associates, Malcolm Garrett, Storm Thorgerson/Hipgnosis, The Designers Republic, Farrow Design, Me Company, Vaughan Oliver, Central Station, Stylorouge, Neville Brody, Intro, Airside, Tomato, Form, Traffic Design/Julian Opie, Big Active, Non Format, Wallzo, Tom Hingston Studio and Oscar & Ewan


Above: Hard Fi, Once Upon a time in the West. Design: David Smith, Steve Turner and Richard Smith

Innovative approaches to music packaging are showcased with examples by Farrow Design for Spiritualized, Hans Seeger's unique packaging for Pulseprogramming and Formʼs latest work for Pendulum. Unique 3d artworks are on show by Wallzofor Hot Chipʼs The Warning album and Oscar & Ewans bust of Roots Manuva for the Slime and Reason album.


Above: Roots Manuva, Slime and Reason. Design: Oscar & Ewan

Showing within the exhibition is an exclusive film featuring leading designers and studios talking about their work. Contributors include Malcolm Garrett, 8vo, Stylorouge, Central Station, Intro, Oscar & Ewan and Wallzo.


Above: Gatecrasher, Disco-tech. Design: The Designers Republic

Patrick Murphy is a professional designer, artist and independent curator with over 20 years experience in the design and arts sector. He has been instrumental in setting up and programming HIVE Gallery a new contemporary art space in South Yorkshire. Shows at HIVE have included Peter Blake, Little Artists, Vincent James and Lesley Halliwell. He is also curating shows for other venues and creating temporary 'platform' spaces around Yorkshire to show site specific work.


Above: Smash Song Hit by Rodgers & Hart, Alex Steinweiss 1939
The Civic has been funded by BMBC, Objective 1, Arts Council England and Yorkshire Forward.  It houses 10 creative industry workspaces and 3 floors of design-led retail.


Above: Primal Scream, Exterminator. Design: Julian House at Intro


REVOLUTIONS: from Gatefold to Download, the Art of the Album Cover is open from 6 March to 1 May 2009

The Gallery@ The Civic, Barnsley, UK
Monday - Saturday 10am - 5.45pm (last admission 5.15pm)
Sunday 10am - 4.45pm

Admission free

Posted on Sunday February 22nd 2009 at 7:37 pm by Rachael Sykes. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • kim

    Interesting how a trend of graphic design for album covers can obliterate another one on the web.
    I always thought Peter Saville was good but Vaughan Oliver’s work gave a real aesthetic to the Post-punk period…

    Do people still remember the amazing covers from 4AD, by 23 Envelope, V23, Vaughan Oliver ?
    First album art for Pixies, Cocteau Twins, Modern English, Bauhaus, Birthday Party, Dif juz, Wolfgang Press, X-mal Deutschland, This Mortal Coil ?